MasterCard Makeover For Iconic Millennium Bridge

MasterCard Makeover For Iconic Millennium Bridge

‘Coin Bridge’ Paves Way to a Cashless Future with MasterCard® PayPass™

London, UK, Tuesday 4 September 2007–In an unprecedented move to mark the national rollout of MasterCard® PayPass™ and Maestro® PayPass and celebrate the arrival of ‘Tap & Go™’ payments in the UK, MasterCard has transformed the Millennium Bridge by carpeting the London landmark with millions of pounds of cash and coins All cash and coins are merely reproductions and not actual legal tender., paving the way to a cashless future. Londoners making the journey across ‘Coin Bridge’ also have the opportunity to make a break with the past and give away their cumbersome cash to a good cause: the ‘Coin Street’ charity, which supports social housing and community projects in and around London’s South Bank.

PayPass is the new faster, safer and more convenient way to pay for everyday small purchases of £10 or less. Easy to use, this ‘contactless’ feature can be added to any MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid card, or Maestro debit card, providing a secure alternative to notes and coins. A PayPass tap takes less than a second. To pay, consumers simply need to tap the card against a specially equipped PayPass reader, removing the need to insert the card, enter a PIN, or fumble for change.

John Bushby, General Manager, MasterCard Northern Europe, commented: “Consumers and retailers in other parts of Europe, the US and Asia are already embracing the ease and safety of contactless payments in retail environments where speed is essential. Led by Londoners using MasterCard PayPass or Maestro PayPass cards from this month, we believe UK consumers will also welcome the arrival of a new way to pay. Whether it’s buying a newspaper in the morning, a sandwich at lunchtime or a cinema ticket in the evening, the option to ‘Tap & Go’ will make shopping for everyday purchases much simpler for everyone.”

The national rollout of contactless payments will begin in London from September 2007. Implementation across the rest of the UK is scheduled to take place throughout next year, with five million contactless cards due to be in issue for use at 100,000 retailers by the end of 2008 Source: APACS (http://www.apacs.org.uk/mediacentre/press/0708_05.html). Londoners will soon be able to use their PayPass cards throughout the capital, with thousands of retailers including McDonalds, Eat, Coffee Republic, Yo!Sushi, Krispy Kreme, Books Etc, Threshers and the Science Museum participating in the launch programme. Further announcements about participating retailers are expected soon from the major banks supporting the rollout As announced by APACS, organisations that plan to participate in the first phase of rollout are: Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Citi, Euroconex Technologies Ltd (now Elavon Merchant Services), Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Consumers give contactless the thumbs up

There has never been a better time to go contactless, according to the results of independent research conducted by YouGov All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,011 adults. The online survey was carried out from 9th-11thJuly 2007. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). on behalf of MasterCard. The findings reveal that more than half (53%) of UK consumers surveyed welcome the introduction of contactless technology on credit and debit cards as a more convenient way to pay.

Other key highlights from the research include:
Younger audiences are quick to embrace the change, with 60% of under-25s and almost half (49%) of 25-34 year olds surveyed in the UK stating that they’d use their debit or credit card more often than cash if they could simply ‘Tap & Go’ to make a purchase.
38% of UK consumers surveyed expect to use cash less frequently than at present to pay for goods and services in five years’ time. This includes 43% of men and 41% of Londoners.
Theft (34%) and loss (33%) are the two concerns cited most frequently by consumers surveyed as reasons for not wanting to carry cash on their person. Londoners (37%) are the most likely to fear theft, compared with just 24% of consumers in Scotland.
One in six people (16%) surveyed decide ‘very often’ or ‘often’ against making everyday purchases such as newspapers, sweets, cigarettes or sandwiches because they don’t have change and don’t want to ‘break’ a note.

The capital’s residents show the greatest appetite for contactless payments, with Londoners being most likely to use their credit or debit cards more frequently (45%) after the introduction of ‘Tap & Go’ than those in any other region, followed closely by the Midlands and Wales (37%) and the North (36%).

A global phenomenon

The rollout of contactless payments in the UK follows successful European trials of the award-winning PayPasscontactless platform with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, at both its headquarters in Edinburgh and its London office, and the launch of several programmes and pilots across Europe. The region’s first MasterCard PayPasscredit programme was launched with Garanti Bank and major retailers in Turkey in June 2006, with the bank’s subsequent rollout of the region’s first PayPass-enabled wristwatch in spring 2007. For the last year, MasterCard has been involved in two major contactless payments pilots in France, one of which is to test PayPass-enabled mobile phones. Most recently, MasterCard announced the forthcoming launch of a PayPasspilot in Spain with Caja Madrid and more than 200 retailers, and the first PayPass pilot in Italy with Banco Posta, the banking arm of Poste Italiane.

As of Q2 2007, there are over 16 million PayPass cards and devices in use at more than 55,000 diverse merchant locations globally, including fast food outlets McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks; convenience stores 7-Eleven, CVS and Duane Reed; Coca-Cola Enterprises’ vending machines; New York City subway and taxis; and Major League Baseball and National Football League sports stadiums in the US. PayPass is currently being trialled or rolled out in 19 countries, including France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

For more information about MasterCard PayPass and Maestro PayPass, visit http://www.mastercard.co.uk/paypass.

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